Gamjatang, a hearty Korean soup made with pork neck bones, potatoes, and a flavorful spicy broth, is a beloved dish that warms the soul and tantalizes the taste buds. This delightful stew offers a perfect blend of rich flavors and textures, making it a popular choice in Korean cuisine. In this comprehensive guide to making Gamjatang, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of making Gamjatang at home, so you can enjoy this delicious and comforting dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
For the Broth:
– 1 kg (2.2 lbs) pork neck bones
– 2 liters (8.5 cups) water
– 1 onion, cut into chunks
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
– 3 green onions, chopped
– 1/4 cup Korean soybean paste (Doenjang)
For the Spicy Seasoning Paste:
– 2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (Gochugaru)
– 1 tablespoon soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon fish sauce
– 1 tablespoon minced garlic
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon sesame oil
– 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Main Ingredients:
– 4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
– 2 zucchinis, sliced into rounds
– 4 to 6 Napa cabbage leaves, cut into large pieces
– 1 cup soaked and drained dried oyster mushrooms
– 1/2 cup soaked and drained dried fernbrake (gosari)
– 1/4 cup soaked and drained dried bellflower roots (doraji)
– Salt, to taste
Step 1: Preparing the Pork Neck Bones
1.1. Place the pork neck bones in a large pot and fill it with cold water. Allow them to soak for about 30 minutes. This will help remove any excess blood and impurities.
1.2. After soaking, rinse the bones thoroughly under cold running water and drain them.
Step 2: Boiling the Pork Neck Bones
2.1. Fill a large pot with 2 liters (8.5 cups) of water and add the cleaned pork neck bones.
2.2. Add the onion chunks, minced garlic, ginger slices, and chopped green onions to the pot.
2.3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes. This will help remove any remaining impurities from the bones.
Step 3: Preparing the Spicy Seasoning Paste
3.1. In a small bowl, combine the Korean red pepper flakes (Gochugaru), soy sauce, fish sauce, minced garlic, sugar, sesame oil, and ground black pepper. Mix well to create a thick, red paste.
Step 4: Adding the Soybean Paste
4.1. After the initial simmer, remove the pork neck bones from the pot. Rinse them under cold running water to remove any remaining impurities.
4.2. Return the cleaned bones to the pot, along with the soybean paste (Doenjang). Mix it in well, allowing the paste to dissolve into the broth.
Step 5: Creating the Spicy Broth
5.1. Stir in the prepared spicy seasoning paste, ensuring that it’s evenly distributed in the pot. Mix well with the broth.
5.2. Cover the pot and simmer the broth over medium heat for about 20-25 minutes. This allows the flavors to meld, creating a rich and spicy broth.
Step 6: Preparing the Vegetables
6.1. While the broth simmers, prepare the vegetables. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, slice the zucchinis into rounds, and cut the Napa cabbage leaves into large pieces.
6.2. Soak the dried oyster mushrooms, fernbrake (gosari), and dried bellflower roots (doraji) in warm water for about 30 minutes to rehydrate. Drain them thoroughly.
Step 7: Adding the Vegetables
7.1. Once the broth is well-seasoned and has simmered for about 20-25 minutes, add the prepared potatoes, zucchinis, Napa cabbage leaves, and rehydrated vegetables (oyster mushrooms, fernbrake, and bellflower roots) to the pot.
7.2. Stir the vegetables into the broth, ensuring they are well coated with the spicy broth and seasoning. Continue to simmer for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and fully cooked.
Step 8: Adjusting Seasoning and Serving
8.1. Taste the Gamjatang and adjust the seasoning with salt if necessary. The soybean paste and the spicy seasoning paste should provide a balanced flavor, but you can add more salt if needed.
8.2. Once the vegetables are tender, and the broth is rich and flavorful, your Gamjatang is ready to be served.
Step 9: Serving and Enjoying Gamjatang
9.1. Ladle the piping hot Gamjatang into individual serving bowls.
9.2. Garnish each serving with additional chopped green onions for a burst of freshness and color.
9.3. Serve the Gamjatang with steamed rice on the side and enjoy the comforting and spicy flavors of this delicious Korean stew.
Gamjatang is a delightful Korean dish that combines the flavors of tender pork neck bones, spicy broth, and a medley of vegetables to create a hearty and satisfying stew. With this step-by-step guide, you can now prepare this mouthwatering dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you’re a fan of Korean cuisine or just looking to expand your culinary repertoire, making Gamjatang from scratch will surely impress your taste buds and your guests. Enjoy the spicy and comforting experience that this dish brings, and savor every flavorful spoonful.